Thursday, August 15, 2013

Buy Now, Think Later

Have you ever purchased something at a flea market or yard sale that you knew had great repurposing potential, but you had no idea what it was, or what you'd do with it?  That's what happened to me when I spotted these sad, broken, dirty, and interesting looking thingies at a flea market last month.

 The dealer didn't know much about them, but someone else was rummaging through the pile and explained to me what they were.  

They're Kardex filing drawers that stacked on top of each other and fit into a large box or case.  The hinged ends with hooks allowed them to slide in and out of the box without pulling all the way out.  Confident I could do something with them, I scored a package deal on all sixteen drawers.

Now they're chalkboards and picture/recipe holders.  The cards and backs were falling out of several of the drawers, so I made chalkboards out of those.  I sprayed the original wood backs with chalkboard paint, then nailed them back in place.  The others are perfect for holding pictures or recipe cards; each drawer has 75 slots.

Personal Business Letters: Date mailed, Phone if any.  Now that's old!!  
I couldn't believe what I discovered in some of them.  No, it wasn't someone's little black book, but they were full of social security numbers and other personal information.  My shredder was working overtime.

I nailed the hinged ends in place so they can be used as shelves.

A few vintage knobs were added.....just because.

I typed new labels for the picture/recipe card holders.  Time for a new typewriter ribbon.

Eight down and eight more to go.

They'll have to wait until I get back from my mini vacation next week. I'll be driving up to Ashland, Oregon this morning with my mom to visit some good friends.  Hope to get in lots of junkin' and some much needed R&R.







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43 comments:

  1. OMG - they're fabulous - love them as chalk boards AND as memento holders - great find!!!
    xxx

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  2. Oh, these are beautiful! You did a great job with them. . . so glad you didn't pass them up!

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  3. These would have intrigued me, too, and I like the way you put them to use. Can you even buy typewritter ribbons any more?? You might try just photocopying the typing on the darkest setting.
    Have a safe and fun trip to Ashland. Hopefully not so smokey by now!!

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  4. Haha, I do this all the time. I don't have a craft room (my husband insists the spare room is his video game room) so my would be craft projects just kind of pile up! BTW I'm having a giveaway on my blog for a vintage inspired handmade clutch!

    -Brittany Ruth

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  5. Betsy what a wonderful find!!!! I just love them! They were meant for you to find! Scarey about the personal info! Eek

    Have a wonderful time!

    Xo

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  6. They really are wonderful....such a nice size to make a statement! Enjoy your trip! OR must be gorgeous at this time of year! Have fun! Hugs!

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  7. A M A Z I N G ! ! !

    I would never doubt that you could come up with something great from anything you found while thrifting.

    I don't know if this idea exists because I don't own a television, but if they had a show where people were given the same item and had to repurpose it, you would come up the winner every time.

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  8. You were the perfect person to buy them, Betsy. Again you turned your finds into something beautiful and useful at the same time.
    Enjoy your vacation and have fun finding some more treasures!
    Hugs,
    Julia

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  9. Great find and super sweet DIY! You are so creative!

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  10. I just love this world of re-purposed items

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  11. Very cool... so good of you to shred the personal data... surprised the seller didn't do that!

    And Art and Sand, there WAS a show in Canada about taking Junk and repurposing it; teams would go head to head finding stuff at thrifts and junk yards and a winner would be chosen on how they best reused their found items.

    Betsy, your work is far superior to anything I ever saw on that show!

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  12. very kool!

    have fun in ashland. we are going there next month. be sure and let us know where the best thrifiting places are. also let me know if you come across any flea markets.

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  13. Do I see a tv show in your future as well? :-) Have a great time in Ashland -- drove through a couple of weeks ago and stopped for ice cream. And some junk.

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  14. Those are very unique! What a neat find! Have a happy Thursday! xo Holly

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  15. WOW!!! What I wouldn't do to nab a couple of those! It feeds the scrapbooker in me!

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  16. Now that is a smart transformation on something old and broken. Safe travels. I love Ashland and surrounding areas. Recharge and Enjoy...

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  17. What a wonderful find! And I love what you've done with them!

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  18. Such an unusual find! I've never seen anything like them. Love your repurpose ideas AND especially your chalkboard fonts.

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  19. LOVE THEM! Are they going in your shop?

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  20. Betsy these are so unique and very cool! You really do surprise me with what you do all the time. Enjoy your get away!

    hugs,
    Linda

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  21. What a great find...love what you have done with them!!
    Have a great time away.
    hugs,
    Cindy

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  22. Thingies, indeed! Leave it to you to create such great stuff from thingies! I would have seen them and known that they were probably good for something, just not sure exactly what that something was. You, on the other hand, are the master! Have a great trip.

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  23. These are really fun, Betsy! I have some of these and haven't had any idea what to do with them...thanks for the inspiration!

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  24. This is so fun! Love what you did!

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  25. I have never seen these before...what a wonderful find! I'm so glad they fell into your honest hands. It's a little scary that such personal documents could be carelessly discarded like that.

    Love what you did with them!! Have a great weekend Betsy :)

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  26. Brilliant Betsy! Love this idea and they look great! You need to write a book with all of your cool ideas :-)
    xx
    Anne

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  27. Have never seen anything like those! Wow -- and such creative transformations. Can't believe there was all that personal information in there??! Yikes!

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  28. Those are fun. I especially like the ones used for photos

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  29. I have no doubt that you could pick up a thingy and make it fabulous!! Wow, I love them, hope you have a fun little getaway!

    Carol

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  30. Dare I admit I rarely know what I'm going to do with something?? Just know I "have" to buy it...the ideas come later...usually in the middle of the night :)
    LOVE these Betsy! The little added knobs are a really fun touch!

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  31. I don't know what they are but they sure made awesome chalk boards! Great find!
    Susan

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  32. So cute! Nice upcycle! Stop by my Friday's Five Features and link up this post (and others)! http://diy-vintage-chic.blogspot.com/2013/08/fridays-five-features-no-4.html

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  33. You surprised us again Betsy! Enjoy your trip to Oregon and share more photos in your next posts

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  34. Betsy, those are fabulous! You're so clever! I hope you stop in Montana on your way to Oregon!! Seriously!

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  35. I always love seeing your fun finds and the way you repurpose them-these are great!!
    Susan

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  36. Those are way too special!!! I love that you put new labels on the ends to match the vintage typewriter font from that era. Clever girl to find multiple uses for them especially for the photos. Most of us tuck them away somewhere but you have them out front and center making it intriguing to go through each one! Great find!

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  37. Great project! Love finding those type of odd lot pieces at the flea market....so much potential!
    Jane

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  38. very cool repurpose betsy! I hope you enjoyed your time away.

    catching you!
    gail

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  39. WOW!!!! You rocked the upcycling my friend! AWESOME!!! TFS

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  40. These are gorgeous!! Come join our link party at http://craftdictator.blogspot.com

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  41. I am so envious of your find. I love them. That kind of find is what keeps us junky types going.
    I am so impressed.
    We would love for you to visit Craft Frenzy Friday, obsessiveandcreative.blogspot.com

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